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Cop says he was asked to change name from ‘Jose’ to ‘Joseph’

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TONASKET, Wash. — City government in the tiny town of Tonasket, Washington, is in turmoil after a police officer came forward with allegations that the mayor wanted him to start using the name “Joseph” because “Jose” sounded too Hispanic.

The situation prompted the mayor to disband the small police department, and for City Council members to demand the mayor resign.

The issue blew up at a City Council meeting Tuesday in the Okanogan County town of about 1,100 people.

The Spokesman-Review reports that former Officer Jose Perez told the council that Mayor Dennis Brown asked him to stop using the name Jose when he had interactions with city residents.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Brown denied ever telling Perez to use the name “Joseph.”

Brown last week disbanded the three-person Tonasket Police Department, prompting calls for his resignation.

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